The 1961 Airfix Civilians set designed by John Niblett. Its box art of urban Britain is just about how I remember it as a late 1960s / early 70s child. These Civilian figures have not been available since 1973 to 1975.
I grew up with a few of these civilian oddities mixed in as ‘personalities’ mixed in with my motley mix of HO/OO toy soldiers.
I like the description of the characters on the box back –
Image from Airfix’s Little Soldiers, Jean-Christophe Carbonel – I like the silhouettes of the figures.
The struggling postman with mail sack has lots of character. It’s good to be able to name and identify poses – although some are not now quite PC? (2 Fat Men)
These Station Accessories and mix of railway figures and workers are often not listed with military figures in some Airfix reference books. They feel a little forgotten, less familiar or undiscovered.
Image source: the lovely Dapol website – pure Airfix purchasable nostalgia
Wonderfully Airfix Railway figures are all still available from Dapol in hard grey plastic including this old 1960s Platform Figures and Accessories set.
These are slight and slender (HO 1:87 maybe according to Plastic Soldier Review?) in comparison to the chunkier 1961 Airfix Civilians above and later 1970s Airfix. This is in the same way perhaps that first version 1960s Airfix figures such as Infantry Combat Group, German Infantry, 8th Army and Afrika Korps are small compared to their 1970s larger Airfix second versions.
Worth mentioning that those familiar Airfix building kits – the thatched cottage, Church, windmill, Tudorbethan house and others – are still available from the same Dapol website.
Other former Airfix figures still available from Dapol:
Tank Engine Tuesday? No that’s not engines for tanks. I once saw a Matilda tank engine for sale on EBay and thought for a moment, it’s a start. A Matilda Tank on the Front Lawn would certainly be a conversation piece …
One of the attractive sections of H.G. Wells’ Floor Games (1911) is the ‘lectric, or clockwork engines, the photographs of the cities and islands by his wife Amy Catherine (“Jane”) Wells and the charming drawings by illustrator J.R. (John Ramage) Sinclair.
Floor Games 1911
The most attractive parts of railway modelling has always been the scenics and especially the figures, often a useful (but sometimes expensiv e source) of civilians for my DMZ Demilitarised Games – snowballers, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts / Guides …
Instant railways that go round and round are always fun, even if the clockwork engine here runs down very fast.
The PRESS HERE sound card worked well enough but the tiny batteries now need replacing (housed neatly in the Station Cafe central block).
Shhh! Don’t startle the deer and the rabbits …
I like the simple American country station halt.
What delighted me about this was the pop up rural Americana buildings.
Barns, schoolhouse, railway station, town hall – straight out of Little House on the Prairie or my favourite and wistful Americana website (and Facebook page) Forgotten Georgiahttp://forgottengeorgia2.blogspot.com
If I had seen another of these books at the time, I’m sure I would have stripped one for buildings or stuck them down a bit more permanently and adapted them for Airfix figures.
Shootout at the station OOHO Airfix figures. My Train in a Tin sadly doesn’t run on these ‘rails’
Instead of cutting it up and sticking it all down ‘better’ I will enjoy it for the peaceful instant pop up whimsy that it is!
Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN on Sidetracked, his railway / gaming blog.